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IDA [Corporation, a CBP contractor] divides the universe of border crossers into two groups. The larger group includes adults without children, who are not asylum seekers and not from Cuba; the smaller group consists of minors, family units, Cubans, and individuals who request asylum. Aliens in the larger group are subject to a full range of potential enforcement consequences, including expedited removal and criminal charges; but aliens in the second group historically are usually released into the United States with a notice to appear in immigration court—often only months or years later. Thus, the larger group of aliens are assumed to be potentially “impactable” by USBP enforcement policies, but the smaller group is assumed to be “non-impactable” by traditional enforcement policies because even if they are apprehended they are still likely to succeed in entering the United States.[17]

…With respect to the non-impactable population, IDA assumes that aliens make no attempt to evade detection, and that all aliens in this group surrender to the first USBP agent they encounter. Thus, IDA assumes aliens in the non-impactable group have an apprehension rate of 100 percent. The distinction between impactable and non-impactable aliens is especially important because with the surge of Central American child and family migration in recent years, among other factors, the share of non-impactables increased from less than two percent in 2003-2009 to over 33 percent in 2016.

[17]: IDA refers to these groups as “traditional” and “non-traditional,” respectively. IDA includes Cubans in the second group because they were routinely allowed to enter the United States during the period under consideration under the wet-foot/dry-foot policy; the Obama administration terminated the wet-foot/dry-foot policy in January 2017.
Efforts by DHS to Estimate Southwest Border Security between Ports of Entry (Washington: Office of Immigration Statistics, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, September 14, 2017): 16-7 <>.